CARACAS, Tuesday November 26, 2013 | Update

Aguiar: Power is exercised despotically under military control in Venezuela

Constitutionalist lawyer Asdrúbal Aguiar reckons that President Nicolás Maduro's government "lacks legitimacy and has a despotic calling." Lawyer Pedro Nikken forecasts "further repression" under Maduro's regime

Constitutionalist lawyer Asdrúbal Aguiar (File photo)
Tuesday November 26, 2013  02:56 PM
Constitutionalist lawyer Asdrúbal Aguiar said that Venezuela is "taking steps into the despotic exercise of power under military control." Reference was made to the detention last weekend of opposition leader Henrique Capriles' tour coordinator Alejandro Silva.

"We are faced with a military government, with the aggravating circumstance that in the past (late) President (Hugo) Chávez managed violence and arbitrariness and reached agreements in his political coalition –comprising civilians, military, Marxists... But today, such universe has fractured (...) and each group feeling like the heir of Chávez believes it has the power to handle power the way they do," Aguiar said in an interview with radio station Union Radio, referring to the detention last weekend of opposition leader Henrique Capriles' tour coordinator Alejandro Silva by the Military Intelligence Directorate (DIM).

Aguiar highlighted the fact that military officers are heading major government agencies, such as the Ministry of the Interior, the Presidential Office and the Strategic Center for Security and Protection of the Motherland (Cesppa) "which was left in the hands of yet another major general who was reactivated to perform such duty."

The specialist argued that Venezuela "faces a regime that lacks democratic legitimacy. It took office by knocking down the constitutional order via the court rulings issued last January and March (...) Maduro took office amid constitutional disruption. He has a complex of illegitimacy and is moving forward toward arbitrariness," Aguiar told journalist César Miguel Rondón.

Further repression

Additionally, former president of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Pedro Nikken forecast further repression in Venezuela, in light of the latest moves made by Maduro's government.

"As long as these events continue and while there is no proportional reaction, there is a risk that the situation will become worse (...) the government is sparking off a situation of violence," Nikken said, adding that Venezuela appears to be on the brink of absolutism.